The Benefits and Limitations of Strategic Planning for Organizations

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The Benefits and Limitations of Strategic Planning for Organizations

"It was August of 1914 and Germany had committed virtually its entire

army to the invasion of Belgium and France. Few German troops remained

to defend East Prussia against the invasion of two huge Russian

armies. Despite the numerical inferiority, Colonel Hoffmann, chief of

the German Eighth Army staff, created an audacious strategy to

surround and annihilate one of the Russian armies. He began to plan a

detailed attack. At the same time, on a train traveling east, General

Ludendorff, the incoming chief of staff of the reinforced German

forces in East Prussia, identified the same opportunity and created

exactly the same strategy. Paul von Hindenburg, the new commander of

German forces in the east, implemented the Hoffmann/Ludendorff

strategy. At the resulting Battle of Tannenberg, only 10,000 of the

150,000 soldiers in the Russian Second Army escaped."[1]

When discussing the concept of strategic planning many keywords seem

to arise. Strategy, planning, detail, identify, opportunity and

implement. The article above describes briefly a situation in which

all of these keywords were practically used. Although this example has

no obvious connection with the world of business, we can start to

analyze what were the benefits and limitations of strategic planning

for Colonel Hoffman and his troops. The obvious benefits of the

strategic plan were that they would be able to take the Russian

soldiers by surprise, possibly allowing the Germans to gain an

advantage in combat. But there were also limitations of the planned

strategy. For example there was only a small number Germa...

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The New Strategy and Why It Is New By Nick Demos, Steven Chung, and

Michael Beck

Conclusion Point:

· Businesses which develop formal strategic planning systems will be

more effective in achieving their objectives than those which do not


[1] Strategy, By Chuck Lucier and Jan Dyer


[3] Jack: Straight from the Gut (written with Business Week's John A.

Byrne, Warner Business Books, 2001)

[4] Business Policy - Strategy Formation & Management Action, Glueck

[5] Ansoff, H. Igor: Corporate Strategy, New York: McGraw Hill, 1965

[6] Glueck, F. William, Business Policy - Strategy Formation &

Management Action, McGraw Hill
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